Quality news, views and analysis of issues that affect and inform us in the Douglas Shire.

Tropical Low Brings Chaos to Cairns as Douglas Prepares

There are no significant changes to the forecast track nor intensity of the current tropical low with the 2.00pm BOM update but gales are now extending beyond the coastal fringe, with significant impact experienced in Cairns and southern areas today.

THERE are no significant changes to the forecast track nor intensity of the current tropical low with the 2.00pm BOM update but gales are now extending beyond the coastal fringe, with significant impact experienced in Cairns and southern areas today.

The low is now starting to show signs of moving north, and Douglas Shire Council is starting to activate disaster response services as a flood warning is issued for the Mossman and Daintree River catchments.

Computer models indicate winds of up to 110-120km/hr may be experienced offshore later this afternoon. Winds are expected to increase, due to the squeezing effect of a ridge building from the south-west and the low pressure system, and  land interaction between the low and coastline, as well as moderate easterly vertical wind shear.


Traffic Chaos

In Cairns today, there was traffic chaos with multiple road closures due to fallen power lines and trees, other road hazards including a sinkhole in Westcourt caused by a burst water main, traffic accidents, adverse driving conditions and signal faults, with a recommendation issued by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland) to avoid all non-essential travel on the roads.

Sheridan Street (Captain Cook Highway) was closed earlier today to all traffic for several hours near the Cairns Airport turn-off due to fallen power lines. A number of traffic lights remain out of service with traffic control and detours in place.


With conditions deteriorating across the Tropical North today motorists are advised to exercise caution on the roads. For real-time travel information head to qldtraffic.qld.gov.au or call 13 19 40, and remember #BackItUp and #IfItsFloodedForgetIt

For the latest weather information visit www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 219 for recorded Land and Weather Warnings.


Power Outages

Ergon reports more than 30,000 customers have lost power as wind and heavy rain have brought down trees and branches on to powerlines #takecarestaylineaware.  Crews are working in very challenging conditions as they respond to weather-related outages across the region.


Boaties Get Prepared

The Regional Harbour Master has warned boat operators at Port Douglas, Cairns and Half Moon Bay Marina, Mourilyan, Innisfail and Clump Point, Cape Flattery and Cooktown to prepare, and that the harbours and marinas are now in  “preparedness phase, Phase Two of the Extreme Weather Plan.

The Regional Harbour Master advises that “vessel Operators and owners should review their safety plans and address any outstanding matters.” The Extreme Weather Plan is available via the Maritime Safety Queensland website at www.msq.qld.gov.au.


Douglas Shire Council Activates Response

As a Flood Watch has now been issued for the Mossman and Daintree River catchments, Council has made sandbags available at the following locations:

Daily rainfall totals of 100-150 mm are likely, with locally heavy falls in excess of 200 mm possible, particularly near the coast.

Sand and sandbags are now available at:

WONGA / Wonga RFS/SES shed

DIWAN/ SES Local Headquarters, Tea Tree Road Diwan

DAINTREE VILLAGE / Daintree Village RFS/SES shed

PORT DOUGLAS / Port Douglas AFL Club carpark, access via Wharf Street

MOSSMAN / Mossman SES shed at the rear of Council’s Administration Building in Mossman, access via Front Street

Remember: If it’s flooded, forget it.

Local residents are encouraged to stay connected at the Douglas Dashboard  at https://dashboard.douglas.qld.gov.au/


TROPICAL CYCLONE FORECAST TRACK MAP / Tropical Low/ Issued at 2:16 pm AEST Monday 1 March 2021. Image Credit / BOM

TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 6

Issued at 2:08 pm EST on Monday 1 March 202

A tropical low is developing near the north tropical coast of Queensland.

Areas Affected:

Warning Zone

Cape Flattery to Lucinda.

Watch Zone

None.

Cancelled Zone

None.

Details of Tropical Low at 1:00 pm AEST:

Intensity: Tropical Low, sustained winds near the centre of 65 kilometres per hour with wind gusts to 95 kilometres per hour.

Location: within 55 kilometres of 17.2 degrees South 146.8 degrees East, estimated to be 115 kilometres east southeast of Cairns and 90 kilometres east northeast of Innisfail.

Movement: west at 12 kilometres per hour.

Tropical low’s recent movement has been slowly towards the west. However, it is likely to turn towards the north later today and become slow moving during the night.

The tropical low is expected to reach tropical cyclone strength during Tuesday. While coastal crossing is not expected, the system is likely to cause gales about the coastal and island communities.

The cyclone is likely to remain close to the coast while intensifying over the next two days. In the longer term, it is likely to take a southeasterly track away from the coast as a category 3 cyclone.

Hazards:

GALES with gusts to 100km/h are likely about the coastal and island communities between Cape Flattery and Lucinda, including Cairns and Innisfail, during today and on Tuesday.

HEAVY RAINFALL is likely about the coastal and island communities between Cape Flattery and Lucinda, including Cairns and Innisfail, tonight and on Tuesday. A Flood Watch is current for the north tropical coast between Mission Beach and Rollingstone; refer to that product for more information.

ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES and large waves may cause flooding near the foreshore. People likely to be affected should take measures to protect their property as much as possible and be prepared to help their neighbours.

Recommended Action:

People between Cape Flattery and Lucinda should take precautions and listen to the next advice at 5 pm.

– Information is available from your local government

– For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland’s Disaster Management Services website (www.disaster.qld.gov.au)

– For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500 (for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on buildings or roof damage).

Next Advice:

The next advice will be issued by 5:00 pm AEST Monday 01 March.

This warning is also available through TV and Radio Broadcasts; the Bureau’s website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 210. The Bureau and the State Emergency Service would appreciate this warning being broadcast regularly.

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